Rolling Stone's New Cover Boy: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Promises 'deeply reported' story, but readers aren't happy

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 17, 2013 7:03 AM CDT | Updated Jul 17, 2013 7:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – Controversial might be too weak a word: Rolling Stone's latest cover star is accused Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The decision to feature a glossy image of the alleged criminal on the front of millions of magazines has not gone down well with many, who have taken to Rolling Stone's Facebook page to protest by the thousands, reports Business Insider. A sampling of the more polite reactions:

  • "Jeff Bauman, who lost both legs, should be on cover."
  • "I am ending my subscription. ... Who's next, George Zimmerman?? Rolling Stone is a music magazine, not the Taliban Times. "
  • "Can we get 1 million likes to have this issue pulled...!!!"
  • "Wow, putting this guy on the cover of a pop culture magazine in a Jim Morrison pose? Way to perpetuate the notion that crimes on this level will garnish attention for sociopaths who are out to seek it. This is sickening..."

Despite accusations it is glorifying Tsarnaev by making him a cover star, Rolling Stone promises the story, which appears in the Aug. 1 issue, is a "deeply reported" and "heartbreaking account of how a charming kid with a bright future became a monster." In a teaser for "Jahar's World," it drops several bits from the story, amongst them: It was a plea from Tsarnaev's wrestling coach that may have ultimately convinced him to surrender; Tsarnaev downplayed his Islamic faith in high school, but a friend says even then, "He took his religion seriously"; and he once told a high school friend he thought 9/11 could be justified due to US attacks on Muslim countries and actions such as drone strikes.

  (Rolling Stone)
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